AMD losing less money than last year

Written by Ben Hardwidge

April 22, 2009 // 12:04 p.m.

Tags: #09 #2009 #amd #bottom #dirk #financial #intel #market #meyer #microprocessor #otellini #paul #q1 #results

Following a tough period in the semiconductor industry, not to mention a complete overhaul of the company's structure, AMD has now revealed its financial results for the first quarter of 2009.

Unsurprisingly, the company’s revenue was down significantly when compared with the first quarter of 2008, with a posted decrease of 21 percent. However, the company pointed out that "first quarter 2009 revenue was flat compared to the fourth quarter of 2008." Revenue from microprocessor sales also increased by seven percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2008, although the revenue from graphics processors dropped by 18 per cent from the same period.

AMD’s CEO Dirk Meyer commented positively on the microprocessor figures, saying that “AMD’s sequential microprocessor unit and revenue growth in difficult economic conditions demonstrate we can grow in an environment where customers are looking for maximum value.” However, in a webcast to discuss the figures, Meyer was very cautious about suggesting that the market had now bottomed out. "I've heard some say we've hit bottom,” said Meyer, adding that “I don't know how someone could say we’ve hit bottom given the continued uncertainty that we have in the macroeconomic climate. As a result of that, I would say that we are being cautious on our outlook."

Meyer is undoubtedly referring to recent comments by Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini, who, last week, bravely claimed that “we believe PC sales bottomed out during the first quarter and that the industry is returning to normal seasonal patterns," when Intel released its financial results for the first quarter of 2009.

Otellini went on to say that "Intel has adapted well to the current economic environment and we're benefiting from disciplined execution and agility. We're delivering a product portfolio that meets the needs of the changing market, spanning affordable computing to high-performance, energy-efficient computing." Comparatively, Intel’s results revealed that the company’s revenue was down 26 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2008, but only down 13 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2008.

In terms of raw figures, AMD says that it’s "reported a net loss attributable to AMD common stockholders of $416 million or $0.66 per share," for the first quarter of 2009. The company says this "includes a net unfavorable impact of $22 million, or $0.04 per share", while its operating loss was $308 million for the period. This compares with a much bigger net loss of $1,443 million ($2.37 per share) in the fourth quarter of 2008.

AMD’s financial results don’t include the operating results of GlobalFoundries – AMD’s former fabrication wing, and Dirk Meyer described the new AMD as a "more nimble" company. However, the company still recorded a cost of $21 million for formation costs associated with Global Foundries, as well as a cost of $60 million for restructuring charges. You can see the full details of the results here.

Do you think Intel is right to say that the processor market has bottomed out, or is AMD right to be cautious? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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